Rochester Institute of Technology

Academic Program Overviews

Student Skills & Capabilities, Salary Data, Career Information 

Physics BS

Program Overview

The BS program in Physics offers a broad curriculum that prepares students for employment in research and industry after graduation, as well as for graduate study in physics and related areas.  The structured core curriculum provides a broad and solid foundation in experimental, computational, and theoretical concepts, with emphasis on laboratory training and experience relevant to the requirements of the professional world of work and of advanced study in graduate or professional programs.  It also is sufficiently flexible so that the student can plan a minor or a course sequence in such areas as optics, engineering, astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, or mathematics.  Students also may prepare for entry into medical, law, or business school

Degrees Awarded

  • Bachelor of Science


  • Approximately 160 students

Cooperative Education & Experiential Education Component

  • Optional; 2 terms recommended. All students eligible upon completion of second year courses

Salary Information

Co-op:                            ID
BS:                                  ID

Equipment & Facilities

  • X-Ray and Surface Science Laboratory:   Physical Electronics ultra-high-vacuum system with x-ray photoelectron and Auger/Meitner electron spectrometer; x-ray diffraction hutch housing Huber four-circle diffractometer with  sealed-tube x-ray source
  • Atomic-Scale Microscopy Laboratory:  Bruker Innova atomic-force/scanning-tunneling microscope
  • Laser Light Scattering Laboratory for complex and biological fluid studies:  Brookhaven BI-200SM goniometer with digital autocorrelator
  • Optics Laboratory: various standard optical equipment; low-power lasers; high-power laser; wavelength/frequency analysis
  • Materials Laboratory: vibrating sample magnetometer; magnetic and electric field measurements for bulk and thin-film materials
  • Quantum Optics Teaching Laboratory
  • Physical Optics Teaching Laboratory
  • Modern Physics/Advanced Physics Teaching Laboratory
  • Electronics Teaching Laboratory
  • Instrument/Detector Development Laboratory for Experimental Cosmology: development of technologies and instruments for ground-based, sub-orbital, and orbital platforms
  • Observatory: 14-inch and 12-inch telescopes with CCD cameras, video cameras and GPS time-stamping capability
  • Granular Materials Laboratory: dynamics and jamming of granular materials in a variety of geometries, including materials in a variety of geometries, including avalanches in rotating drums and jamming in hopper flow; video and mass flow data acquisition and analysis.
  • Supercomputer Clusters:  computational support for gravitational physics and astrophysics
  • Nanopower Research Laboratories (NPRL) – dedicated to the basic and applied nanotechnology research associated with the development of materials and devices for energy conversion and storage.  The NPRL encompasses six separate laboratories with a combined total of over 6000 square feet of research space   These laboratories include: a photovoltaic characterization laboratory; a wet chemistry synthesis facility; a thermal, spectroscopic, and microscopic characterization facility; an electrochemistry/chromatography laboratory; a battery testing laboratory with extensive hood space; and a laser laboratory

Training / Qualifications

For jobs in basic research and development, a doctoral degree is the usual educational requirement for physicists and astronomers. Holders of bachelor’s degrees work as engineers, analysts, technicians, programmers, or research assistants in a wide variety of industrial environments and STEM fields including scientific and government laboratories, engineering, scientific software development, and non-technical fields. Most physics Ph.D. holders are employed in STEM fields in the private sector and utilize their training for solving complex problems, managing technical projects, or communicating science.  Many physics Ph.D. physicists also become faculty at institutions of higher education.

Job Titles

Engineer, Engineer Consultant, Process Engineer, Research Assistant, Software Engineer, Structural Analysis Engineer, Teacher, Warfare Systems Engineer

Significant Points

  • • RIT Astrophysical Sciences & Technology Program ranked 69th in Top US Physics Graduate Programs in 2019 U.S. News & World Report: America’s Best Graduate Schools
  • • 4 national awards and recognitions for RIT BS physics program or its students (2013-2018)
  • • Average of 11 undergraduate coauthors on peer-reviewed publications annually (2013-2018)
  • • Over the last 4 years, 57% of physics graduates went on to FT, PT and freelance work. 35% went on to graduate school.
  • • From the American Institute of Physics, 65% of bachelor degree recipients from the 2013 and 2014 classes were employed in the private sector.
  • Of those, 77% were in a STEM position: 36% engineering, 23% computer or information systems, 5% physics or astronomy, and 13% other STEM

Selected Employer Hiring Partners

Advanced Geolocation Solutions, Army Research Station, Ball Aerospace, Commonwealth Computer Research, Corning Glass, Epic Systems, IMA LIFE, Joyable, KBRwyle, Lumisyn, Mobee, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Optimax Systems, Rainbow Research Optics, US Naval Station, Voith Hydro

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in your career. We will make every effort to help you succeed. Call our office and ask to speak with Kris Stehler, the career services coordinator who works with the Physics program. For your convenience, you can access information and services through our web site at

Kris Stehler, Career Services Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 585.475.5468
Rochester Institute of Technology . Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Bausch & Lomb Center
57 Lomb Memorial Drive . Rochester NY  14623-5603
Wednesday, 08 August 2018 Posted in Science, Mathematics, and Imaging Science, College of Science